Gloucester v Worcester Warriors Premiership Preview

Gloucester host Worcester at Kingsholm

Gloucester have named a team with one change for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership match against Worcester Warriors at Kingsholm Stadium

Wales international flanker Ross Moriarty to start on the blindside and is the only change from the side that started against Saracens last Friday as he takes over from Lewis Ludlow.

The only other new face in the matchday 23 sees on-loan hooker from Bristol, Chris Brooker, named amongst the replacements.

The teams are separated by just one point in the table after two rounds of action, both having won one game out of two to date.

Having both lost last weekend, it’s important for both sides to get back to winning ways but Gloucester’s Director of Rugby

David Humphreys is expecting Worcester to be a tough nut to crack.

“I think Worcester will be another huge challenge for us this weekend. They’ve come up and made a great start to their campaign with the win against Northampton.

“It gave them the confidence to know that they can compete in this league. Unlike London Welsh the year before, they’ve more consistency in their squad and haven’t had to recruit so much. And they players they have recruited are experienced and have been successful in various leagues in various countries.

“But we know that we will get better and better as we have players coming back from the World Cup and coming back from injury. We’re excited about the next few games.

“But, for us, it’s all about this weekend. Both teams should be fairly strong without too many injuries. We’ll be coming up against a hugely motivated Worcester side, excited by their first derby back in the Premiership.

“We know what the challenge will be. We know how well we’re going to have to play to get the win. But, at the same time, we know that if we go out and perform that we’re a good team and we can beat anyone on our day.”

Worcester Warriors last five Premiership Rugby encounters have all been won by the home side on the day whilst Warriors have won just once on the road in the tournament in their last 28 away trips since New Year’s Day 2012: 17-12 at Newcastle in March 2014.

Each side won its respective home game when the two clubs last met in Premiership Rugby in season 2013/14, whilst Worcester’s only previous victory at Kingsholm was 13-6 in Premiership Rugby on 21st April 2009.

Gloucester Rugby’s five game unbeaten run at Kingsholm in Aviva Premiership Rugby ended with their 15-17 reversal to Saracens on Friday.

Gloucester’s solitary victory in the last three rounds of the tournament was 39-27 at Newcastle in round 1.

Worcester Director of Rugby Dean Ryan has named new signing Tevita Cavubati will make his full Warriors debut.

The Fijian lock will start alongside Donncha O’Callaghan as Ryan has retained the same 23 that faced Sale Sharks last week.

Internationals Chris Pennell and Cooper Vuna join Tom Biggs once again in the back three, while Springbok Wynand Olivier partners Ryan Mills in midfield.

Tom Heathcote and Jonny Arr look to cement their half-back partnership to complete a strong Warriors backline.

Captain GJ van Velze lines up alongside the Premiership’s top-tackler Phil Dowson and Marco Mama in the back-row, while Na’ama Leleimalefaga, Niall Annett and Nick Schonert complete the front-row.

Ryan said: “We don’t want to make any drastic changes. We want some consistency in selection especially in this first block of four fixtures.

“There’s no point jumping around. What we thought was right for Northampton was still right for Sale and so on. That’s the way we’re going to grow.

“There’s a lot more to come from this group. We’re pretty buoyant that we can compete and now we have to drive ourselves to get better.

“It’s not just about swimming each week and seeing if we can stay above water.

“We want to see if we can really nail down some results and I’m pleased with the response from the squad.”

Match : Gloucester Rugby v Worcester Warriors
Date : Saturday 31st October
Venue : Kingsholm,
Kick Off : 2pm
Live on: N.A
Match Officials
Referee :Craig Maxwell-Keys (6th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Tom Foley and Jonathan Healy.
TMO: Keith Lewis.

Teams

Gloucester

Charlie Sharples; David Halaifonua, Billy Twelvetrees (capt), Bill Meakes, Jonny May; James Hook, Willi Heinz; Paddy McAllister, Richard Hibbard, John Afoa; Tom Savage, Sione Kalamafoni; Ross Moriarty, Matt Kvesic, Ben Morgan

Replacements: Chris Brooker, Yann Thomas, Paul Doran-Jones, Elliott Stooke, Jacob Rowan, Callum Braley, Billy Burns, Henry Purdy

Worcester Warriors

15 Chris Pennell , 14 Tom Biggs , 13 Wynand Olivier , 12 Ryan Mills , 11 Cooper Vuna , 10 Tom Heathcote , 9 Jonny Arr , 8 GJ van Velze (C), 7 Marco Mama , 6 Phil Dowson , 5 Tevita Cavubati , 4 Donncha O’Callaghan , 3 Nick Schonert , 2 Niall Annett ,1 Na’ama Leleimalefaga

Replacements : 16 Dan George , 17 Val Rapava Ruskin , 18 Joe Rees , 19 Darren Barry , 20 Matt Cox , 21 Charlie Mulchrone , 22 Ryan Lamb , 23 Ben Howard

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